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What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About #MeToo: Essays on Sex, Authority and the Mess of Life

by Joann Wypijewski

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An exquisite examination of a sexual culture in crisis

What if we took sex out of the box marked “special,” either the worst or best thing that a human person can experience, and considered it within the complexity of reality? In this extraordinary book, despite longstanding tabloid-style sexual preoccupations with monsters and victims, shame and virtue, JoAnn Wypijewski does exactly that.

From the HIV crisis to the paedophile priest panic, Woody Allen to Brett Kavanaugh, child pornography to Abu Ghraib, Wypijewski takes the most famous sex panics of the last decades and turns them inside out, weaving what together becomes a searing indictment of modern sexual politics, exposing the myriad ways sex panics and the expansion of the punitive state are intertwined.

What emerges is an examination of the multiple ways in which the ever-expanding default language of monsters and victims has contributed to the repressive power of the state. Politics exists in the mess of life. Sex does too, Wypijewski insists, and so must sexual politics, to make any sense at all.

JoAnn Wypijewski is a writer and editor based in New York. For eighteen years, from 1982 to 2000, she was an editor at The Nation magazine. She has written for the magazine, as well as for Harper’s, CounterPunch, The New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, and other publications. She is on the editorial committee of the New Left Review. She was the co-editor with Kevin Alexander Gray and Jeffrey St. Clair, of Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence.

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  1. Mike

    Interesting read

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